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just give peace a chance

I understand the motivation behind the search for happiness. I understand the draw to it. The promise of freedom, of transcendence beyond the ‘conditioned everyday’, of some greater, more meaningful, state of being than that which we’ve come to know. And, the reminders? The reminders for the pursuit of happiness are everywhere. Often, veiled in the shroud of consumerism accompanied by manipulative attempts to find depth in the shallow end of the pool.

But, the real happiness, that happiness is real. It’s the happiness that the all the ‘how to be happy’ books tell you that you find on the inside; separate from anything else except for you. It’s the happiness that the Dalai Lama would say requires nothing more than inner discipline and your mind. (I might add the heart in there, too).

The real happiness, it is as the master guru guides; from within. For all measures of intents and purposes, differences in wealth, class, occupation, personal circumstance or health, have no bearing on one’s ability to attain happiness. It is real. Yet, for many, perhaps for most, it is like trying to capture the clouds with your hands.

Happiness is within everyone. It is a purpose of this existence. Its ethereal nature and reliance upon one’s self make it no easy task to endeavour upon. The mind occupies great power and the mind commands great power. The path toward happiness armed with nothing more than inner monologue and neural synapses is a challenging path, to say the least. Seemingly, a path with no definitive beginning.

It’s why I search for peace. Without looking for it. Peace, I believe, you create; you intentionally cultivate. You bring it to you with categorical certainty rather than chase and contemplate and assess. Peace, you agree to with your self and the universe to choose to be a part of.

How do we choose peace? We choose peace deliberately, both tangibly and otherwise. We see it and we don’t. Peace shows itself with consistency for everyone. The inner workings of the mind are not navigable in a blanket theory. I can no easier tell myself how to think and feel than I can anyone else. But, peace is accessible because of the objective decisions we can make to be a part of it.

Peace translates itself in how we process our world around us. Peace is in the quiet; in taking time for yourself to be in stillness. Peace is in a tidy home and an organized workspace. Peace is in taking steps to feel confident in your physical self; to feel comfortable. To only wear the clothes you feel good in, even if it means wearing the same four outfits over and over. Peace is to feel strong; it is to move your body. Peace is at the top of a short to-do list. Start and finish the tasks and projects you need to that support making your life easier. How our mind processes the calm of organization and order is gravely underestimated. Peace follows when you lead with making choices to exile unproductive drama from your life; in whatever capacity it presents itself and that you can. Peace is removing the negativity of the daily news. It’s choosing to consume media and entertainment that calms and enriches your mind. Or, makes you laugh and smile or even brings tears of emotion, whether sad or happy. It’s not absorbing that which induces fear, terror, anger and anxiety. Peace is reading a book. Peace is eating well. Not all the time, but most of the time. Peace is being with people that make you better, and that you make better. It is being yourself. Peace is being able to make choices of what you want to do and who you want to be.

In a sentence, peace is in the de-cluttering of your physical space, your emotional space, your mental space and your spiritual space. And, you get as far in each as you can for when you can. Individually and harmoniously, as you ascend, those spaces will pull each other up. The evolution of who you are will become more apparent the more you allow yourself to make the choices that support your evolution. Brick by brick, you will pave a path of peace. A path that leads to the uncovered happiness within. And, even further still, to….

….be Love.

it depends

Independence; self sufficiency, self supporting, to be able to stand on one’s own two feet, to be free from outside influence, authority or direction.

We’ve learned to wear independence as a badge of pride and honour; it is an accomplishment to be recognized. The notion shouldn’t come as surprise; we commemorate an infant’s first steps, congratulate an adolescent’s passed driver’s test and celebrate a young adult’s move from home out into the world. We applaud these milestones in life and mark them as graduations toward independence.

We have little choice but to learn that doing things on our own is what makes us whole, that it is what propagates our autonomy as the individuals we choose to be. There is your path to follow; the one you pave for yourself. And, while this is very true, while it is integral to the evolution and growth of who you are, the perceived freedom of independence sits atop a very precarious perch.

We learn, some of us quicker than others, that reliance upon ourselves is the safest. We learn that all we choose to carry upon our shoulders and that which falls to the ground when the weight becomes to heavy to manage, comes at our own reward and peril; at our own achievement and blame. We believe, falsely, that we really don’t need anyone’s help. If it goes right, I’ll have myself to thank. If it doesn’t, I’ll have no one to blame but me.

The freedom of independence can imprison us. It can hold our perceptions hostage. There are many reasons I can hypothesize as to why we struggle with asking for help – embarrassment, shame, release of control, fear, pride, past experience, self confidence. But, I am more concerned with why we should ask for help, why we should be dependent.

We are meant for community. We are meant to rely on and to be relied upon. We are meant for meaning. Independence, I’ll estimate, is somewhat of a selfish precept. The decision to act as though in a silo of one’s own personal world steals the opportunity for meaning from others – from the people close to us, the people that care about us, the people we Love. We believe that tending to our adversities on our own, may make things tougher on us, but easier on those around us. A logical, but counterintuitive, premise. Those closest to us see our struggles, they feel our struggles. They want our struggles to be their struggles; shared. There is strength in togetherness regardless of the outcome of what is afoot.

We are easy to forget that we wish to give ourselves to the people we Love when they are in need, yet, when we are in the same need, we choose to isolate ourselves. Challenges in life present meaning. They present opportunity for giving of the true self, the part that comes from compassion, empathy, caring and Love. Sometimes, we have to show up for ourselves by asking someone else to show up for us. Give someone the opportunity to create meaning in their life by asking for help, by asking for someone to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, or just for that shoulder to cry upon.

Strength is built from adversity. Greater strength still, when we choose to not stand alone amidst that adversity. That is how Love is grown, with opportunity to exercise it. Love is grown with the intention of the Heart – when we allow it to be practiced on us. Self-Love is allowed in when we open that part of ourselves that knows we need more than just us.

Love is not what you can do for me, it’s what can I do for you. It is the moments we invite Love to be given to us. And, it’s ok to ask for it.

Be Love.

For: Ever From: Love

We usher out yet another year and find ourselves on the doorstep of the next.

I took a trip back into history to read the final post of 2017. For all intents and purposes, this year’s post could have been a simple copy and paste of last’s. All still was relevant; all still applied.

But, what drew my attention further was the reference to time; the theory, the precept, the concept of time. Time captures us all, doesn’t it? Whether conscious of it or not, it is the universal equalizer.

In relation to our physical being, time is finite. Everything experienced as a product of our existence here is then, by transitive property, also finite. Our achievements, our shortfalls, triumphs, tribulations, material wealth, fears, embarrassments; all finite.

As more time passes, it becomes increasingly apparent that there is less of it to come. Time, a relative concept, becomes ever more real. We reflect on the past, we contemplate the future, we get lost in the now. We attempt to capture what we are captured by.

The experiences I’ve had within my time have created neither a position of satisfaction nor regret. My experiences have furthered the evolution of both my physical and ethereal self; the body and the soul. Each connected to the other by the Heart. That is how we connect ourselves here to the greatness of the universe and to who we truly are; by our Heart. The awareness of the connection in the Heart is what has quieted those short-sighted ideas of satisfaction and regret and opened up feelings of joy, happiness, peace, growth and evolution. (“Growth” and “evolution” are nice words for the hard parts of life; the tears, the stresses and the self-persecution).

I’ve learned that time, even with its uncompromising, faceless command over this place, does itself have a universal equalizer – Love. I’ve learned that time is erased by Love; real Love – the kind you don’t explain, can’t explain, and wouldn’t care to. It is the kind that connects the Heart and the soul and the universe.

Time falls second to Love, always. Time is a concept of the physical. Love is not a concept at all. Love is imprinted on your soul – a tenet of the eternal; carried with you until time folds onto itself and further still. We find our soul when we find Love with our Heart, in a Heart, for a Heart.

And so, as time moves forward, there is stillness in Love. It is not measured in seconds and minutes, days and years. It is forever. It is immeasurable in how it keeps you, not how you keep it. I am grateful for the openness I have to Love. I am grateful for the Love that has been given to me, the Love I have given, the Love I’ve accepted and the Love that’s been accepted from me. I will never give up on Love. I could never give up on Love. I’ve learned what Love is and the unrelenting truth is, literally, everything.    

Be Love.

this Christmas….

As Christmas approaches, amidst the jingle bells, decorated storefronts and jovial parties, so too does aloneness for many. For as much happiness and joy as the season comes with, it also can bring about an uninvited, yet conscious, regression to despondency.

Our human-ness shows in its greatest compassion during this time of year as we act to bring each other together with charitable giving, thoughtful gifts, welcome into our homes and the community of companionship. It is apparent that we acknowledge the sentiment of the season to be one of open arms and togetherness; and, it’s nothing short of how beautiful we can be. What is less than easily apparent is that the full spectrum of aloneness doesn’t only take on the complexion of someone that simply has no family or has lost a loved one or is partner-less. Aloneness finds us in the unanswered questions we have about ourselves, the everyday battles we face and are, seemingly, never able to win and the mental and emotional challenges of self-worth and self-Love that we’ve become all too familiar with. Aloneness finds itself in a place where it seems like no one can understand and nothing can help regardless of how many place settings are at the table where you sit.

For many, this time spent with loved ones, family and friends, dulls whatever sword that aloneness wields in life. It’s a welcome saviour and beacon of hope and solace, if even just for a day or two. For others, the atmosphere of light-hearted and joyous spirits is counterbalanced by the heaviness residing within, often imperceptible to anyone looking through the inherent and assumed lens of the merriment that Christmas brings. Easily understood, if the feeling has not been personally experienced, is that of being a room with those who care about you yet have no idea what you are struggling with or the degree to which you are struggling with it.

The Universe adheres to balance and equilibrium; it’s the science part of spirituality and consciousness and the soul. Christmas is the most celebrated time of year with an intentional focus on togetherness, forgiveness and being with loved ones. It is also the same time that those who are struggling find themselves at their lowest. This openness of our authentic self, of our true state of being, all within a congruent span of forty-eight or so hours, whether it be one of happiness or otherwise, lends to an unparalleled connection amongst all of humankind. It is a heightened global consciousness amongst each and every one of us.

This Chrsitmas, wherever you find yourself for the next two days, in a quiet moment, set aside a small place in your Heart to connect to the greater being of humankind. Set aside a small place in your Heart to send out compassion and understanding and Love to those in need whether they, unbeknownst to you, are sitting at the other end of the table or are halfway across our Earth. And, to those searching for strength where it seems as though there is little strength to be found, wherever you find yourself, in a quiet moment, open a small place in your Heart to receive that connection of compassion and understanding and Love. Set aside a small place in your Heart to believe in the strength that is the belief in faith.

May peace find your Heart and the stillness that is your soul be the forebearer of the Love that you eternally are.

Merry Christmas.

Be Love.

what i gave up for Love


It’s not as though there was a time when I’d thought that reply would be different. Truth is, there was a time when I wouldn’t have even thought to ask myself the question. It doesn’t really seem like something a person would consciously ask themselves. Or, at least, it didn’t for me. But, maybe I wasn’t that conscious back then?

I know I didn’t give up anything for Love. I know that Love didn’t ask me to give up anything. All of it was a choice. The most conscious choice I’ve ever made, I’d say. And, for me, there was no way to believe that I’d have to give up anything for it. I’d realized that whatever it was to think that you’d have to give up, you’re actually really carrying. And ‘carrying’, gets heavy.

A lot of life, whether we are aware of it or not, is trying to find who we are. What we aspire to be, the things we buy, the people we befriend, relationships we cultivate; some of the aforementioned being more fleeting than others. Our search becomes a path of competing alternatives, or so that is the misdirection. When we feel that we give up something for something else, significance becomes attached to that direction which we take. And, intuitively, it makes sense. When something appears to outweigh something else, not only is there an invested conviction in the choice we made, but also potential regret in the choice we didn’t make.

This is not Love. With Love, there is no loss of identity or risk of retribution. There is no fear of missing out or threat to personal self. Yes, Love is a choice. Through and through. But, Love isn’t a choice that asks you to trade anything for it.

None of this is an attempt to wordsmith my way around what Love means to me and how I didn’t “have” to give up anything by using terms like ‘choice’ and suggesting anything but Love is really a burden in disguise. This is my life experience and revelation. And, evolution. The Heart is the Heart. No different in anyone. Its capacity for Love is nothing less than infinite and it’s only the mind that attempts to convince otherwise.

When you integrate Love for yourself, Love for your well being, Love for others and Love from others, into your matrix of competing alternatives, you’ll realize that there is no competition and there are no alternatives. There’s no reason for anything else, something that became and is very apparent to me. And, it’s that something that carries me, I do not carry it.

Love changed my life. Love IS changing my life. And, it’s changing life around me. No tbecause of me, but because of it.

Be Love.

the architect

Where the sun never sets, enveloped in the night.

The wind; a measurement of time. Silent. With force. Turning each page gently. Deafeningly.

Moment upon moment; no story is there. No beginning to enchant, no ending to lapse.

Peaceful, chaotic abyss.

And Love, interstellar. Filling each space in between the stars. Its invisible light quelling the darkness into willing surrender.

Tying each constellation to the next, allowing the universe to whisper to itself. Of what it already knows.

It illuminates not what was or what will be, but what is always and what is never. Eternity, folded upon itself as a symmetrical equation. Solvable only by the transcendence of being.

Each flicker, a billion seconds or a billion miles. Neither of any push on the pull of forever.

And deeper, as the darkness finds itself, does it lose itself. Infinity waits. Each wave it breathes without air. Quieting the still galaxy. Perpetually paused. Never knowing its former self. Erased, to be newly drawn.

There it counts the time in between seconds. Holding onto every moment.

Love owns what resides here. Love created what resides here.

A cosmic ocean of connection. Every synapse, the blueprint of the Heart. The architect, Love.

The stars, unspoken. Outspoken. Understood only to the creator.

Never will there be another like Love for never is not known. And, the time Love occupies keeps it still. With purpose. With meaning. With everything.

Be Love.

make. believe.

There is truly no substitute for being honest with yourself, on both sides of the circumstance. To be self-aware, to strive for a higher being of consciousness, to create a depth of connection with your Heart; how else does it work other than to make yourself believe?

Pushing away what is, cannot pave the way for what will be. You can’t know where you’re not without knowing where you are. And, sometimes, knowing where you are, admitting that to yourself, can be harrowing. Understanding where to go means understanding where to start.

Your Heart provides clarity. Love creates vision.

The rough times are rough. Our clarity is murky, our vision is blurred. That’s why, sometimes, we stay in those places so long. Making sense of the reasons, reliving the past, formulating “action plans”, complicates things. We forget the power we have.

The learning curve can be very gradual; tortoise-like, almost. Once you realize it’s there, the curve gets very steep, very quick. The power you own. Understanding the now is not a prerequisite for creating your future. Belief is the course to take; the one you have to master first.

Your power is not confused in this world. That’s what makes it powerful. The time and the energy we spend trying to consciously override our subconscious teacher and guidance is where the disconnect occurs. It’s when we get far away from our Heart and from Love that we don’t see.

It’s understandable, the reactions and responses, we have. We succumb to defeat and depression; necessary and important, I would offer, to feel what that moment in time is to us. It’s the starting point. Then, we hypothesize and formulate; we reason and we plan. It’s the blueprint we’ve absorbed in our human-ness. It’s what we’re told to do “find a solution” or to “overcome the challenge”.

Clarity and connection to your Heart and to Love is not so much about what you absorb but rather what you radiate. Feel the distance and allow your power to close it. That is what the belief creates. Radiating belief pulls the distance to you. Removed is the mind’s far less effective and far less efficient means of process to get you where you desire to be. That is belief. That is what your Heart guides. That is trust. That is Love. Would you rather empower an infinite number of possibilities from an infinite source of strength and Love, or one? The one your brain thought of.

Your path doesn’t need to be defined by you, only your belief. The steps will be placed in front of you. You won’t need to pave them yourself, only take them when they are there to be taken. The belief in Love, for yourself, for your purpose, for what and who resides in your Heart, will always bring itself back to you no matter how many detours the mind convinces you to take. In all parts of your life. That is the role Love plays, to provide you the path to be your greatest self.

That is to make believe.

Be Love.

once upon a time….

The preamble to many a tale. The opener to embarking on an adventure. The words we all know very well.

Page after page, chapter after chapter, volume after volume; we write our ‘once upon a time’s. Settings, characters, plots, sub-plots, twists, cliffhangers, to-be-continueds; they’re all there. The narratives, created every day, poetically by every breath we take.

What are the stories we tell? The stories of our tales and adventures? The ones we identify with. The ones we attach to. The stories we remember when we think of who we are; who we’ve become. What are those stories?

We are all an audience to these stories. We are an audience to our own stories. Often, they are narratives of victimhood. We tell the stories of our brokenness. We replay these stories continuously, on a loop in our minds. We create an identity by them. We relate with them and we perpetuate them.

That loop is not our full story. It’s not all of who we are, yet it’s often the part we go back to. We revisit those parts over and over until the pages get blurred as to if we wrote the story or if the story is now writing us. We find familiarity there, in that remembered character. And, even when we move onto to the next chapter, we keep to our character; the one that has been hurt. We get good at feeling not good. We, almost, ensure that amidst the differing backdrops, casts and plots, we find a way to play the same character. The character we’ve convinced ourselves to be.

Where are our stories of Love?

Every page authors who we are, and to tear out the ones we wished weren’t there, would leave our book incomplete. Our hands would feel the spaces in between the pages; removing them would be to remove a part of us. But, not only do we leave those pages intact, we bookmark them, we underscore them, we return to them time and time again to remind us of what was. Yet, in our Heart, we want to write something different of what is. Of what will be.

Tell the stories of Love. Remember them. Relive them. Become them. That is what I write into my Heart. That is the character I cast for myself. The one that has experienced Love far bigger and more powerful than anything under the moon and stars. The one that has felt meaning, purpose, beauty, selflessness, vulnerability, accountability and strength beyond measure. The hugs, the smiles, the commitment and the connection. That is the story I tell of myself and my life. Not of what was, but of what is and of what is to come back to me; Love. That is my true story. I won’t ignore the pages from the in between, but I won’t retell them. I won’t rewrite them.

We are meant to write our story so as to live that story. Each page is you. I am choosing to re-read the good pages. I am choosing to write the good pages. The ones that make my Heart feel bigger than the Universe and deserving of all the Love it can hold. I’ve felt what it is and I know that is the real story. That’s what I go back to, not the parts in between. I am grateful for all of the pages because of their part in my story but my story is more. My story is one that is bigger, it is one of Love.

Be Love.

good grief

Chuck may have been onto something there.

A dissertation on grief may likely, in fact, be a bottomless suitcase that could be unpacked til the end of time. And, time would probably win before you got to the bottom of it all.

When presented with this expanse of perception, I choose to let go of understanding what is. I say “perception” because that’s what experience and emotion is. That’s really what most experiences are; how we perceive them to be. Often, however, our emotional reaction leads us into the perception of whatever it is we’re experiencing. If something feels negative, like grief, our perception of it translates into something bad. Something we don’t want. Something that doesn’t appear to be useful or productive. And, when I find that I encounter an experience that can encompass a whale-sized amount of emotion and perception, I do my best to let go of understanding it all. The left brain has a hard time on these waters.

The void exposed with a lack of understanding is filled with feeling. But, it’s not emotional feeling that fills the space, rather it’s foundational feeling. Emotional feeling is very reactive; it’s very in-the-moment, which is not to say it can’t last for an indeterminate amount of time. We can, certainly, have an in-the-moment response to something that lasts much longer than that specific moment. What foundational feeling is, is the layer beneath where the emotional response came from; it’s like understanding by feeling. It’s not the reactive type. It’s, actually, stronger and more telling. Probably more complex. However, maybe as simple to undercover as to ask yourself the question, “why am I really feeling this?”. There’s a likely opportunity that the answer you receive to that question being a different feeling than the feeling you’re actually outwardly experiencing. The challenge is that when we are grief stricken, we won’t be able to hear an answer much other than that of the grief.

We all have an opportunity to grieve, always.

Perception. Grief is our emotional feeling response to something happening that we didn’t want or plan to happen. It’s our emotional feeling response to a change that we perceive to be negative; the loss of a job, heartbreak, death of a loved one. I’m certainly not here to debate any of those life events to be bad or not bad. Nor am I here to convince anyone that the emotions brought about by any of those to be unfounded or unwarranted. None of those instances are good. I do not think or believe otherwise. They can be confusing, hurtful, debilitating, depressive and, sometimes, unrecoverable.

What I want to challenge is that it’s not the actual event or experience that causes us suffering, it’s the perception. What if grief were good? What if it represented growth and progress? What if it signified movement into a further emotional evolution? You would still experience grief, and should still experience grief, but would remove the negative association from it. Grief is borne by attachment. It may sound callous and cold, but grief is our autonomic response to the involuntary severing of an attachment. Rightfully, it’s not going to feel good. When life seems to be out of our control, the feeling is often not one of peace and positivity. Even in the instance whereby the deattachment is of our choosing, pain will usually still follow. It is because of our response to the loss of the connection. It’s real. The dissection of the mechanism of grief is not an attempt to be robotic; the attachment is true. The disconnection of the hardwired maps in our brains and hearts disrupts what is familiar. It upsets what we are used to. That’s just human reality on the plane of this existence. It’s important to live through it. It’s part of having a mind and a heart. The goal is not to become desensitized to grief, but rather the exact opposite. It’s too get more acquainted with it. So acquainted with it that you shift past the emotional feeling layer and delve deeper into it. Willingly. With self Love and self care.

I say that “we all have the opportunity to grieve, always”, because grief is about change. We experience change everyday in any number of ways we perceive and do not perceive. When change pulls grief from us, we live there, for whatever duration, with whatever fierceness. There is neither a right or wrong to it. Grief is not something to be circumvented or sped through. Grief, perhaps, can be about understanding. But, I know for sure it is about feeling. There is spirituality in grief. And, on the spiritual path, which we all travel to some degree throughout our lives, there is no “like” or “don’t like”. We see the path for what it is trying to teach us. Because we choose to like or dislike what the lesson is, doesn’t change the lesson. And so, maybe the lesson behind grief is change and not to change the lesson of grief?

Be Love.

“people”….ugh. i mean, hug.

People. They’re everywhere. At work, the grocery store, in front of you at the bank machine, even your home. Everywhere you look; people. There’s no escaping them!

And, I’m grateful for that.

People have been, and continue to be, the greatest teachers in my life.

I’ve learned from all kinds of people. Big people. Little people. Those with the intention to teach me and those that had no idea they were. People that were kind and people that were not. Close, cherished people and unknown strangers; forever to remain that way. Those who have Loved me and those who have hurt me. All of those people have taught me something, have given me something; a lesson, a message, a direction. They’ve all, at some point, worked at the same school dedicated to teaching me about what I’m supposed to learn in this life. A school I choose to attend.

People will be, undoubtedly, our greatest trials and our greatest triumphs. They will help us the most and they will hurt us the most. Both, more than capable of supplying countless lessons of growth and evolution. In fact, both necessary for our growth and evolution.

Almost everything I know, I’d say, was because of someone else. And, almost everything I’ve felt, too. People have taught me patience and taught me urgency. People have taught me calm and taught me chaos. I’ve learned compassion. I’ve learned empathy. I’ve learned how to see things in a hundred ways I could have never seen on my own. I’ve learned when to fall apart and I’ve learned resilience. Most of all, I’ve learned how to Love. Including myself.

People are everything. Why? Because of Love. And, what are people if not beacons of Love? Even the worst of us was put here to make one choice; how big will you Love in this lifetime? We are, each one of us, surrounded by seven billion beacons of Love. Do you have the right to think that the selfish, the inconsiderate, the unkind and the unfair are far from that light? Yes. But those people who stitch a seam in the fabric of your life in that manner are not meant to be beacons of Love in and of themselves. They are meant to conjure up the beacon of Love that shines in you. That is the choice you are empowered to make. How big will you Love in this lifetime?

We need each other. Love needs us and we need Love. Not everyone that treads this planet will leave Love in the footprints behind them. But, every one of us is an opportunity for Love. To those you meet that are the trials in your life, Love them. Silently. From within. Find the space that is created to Love yourself. And, to those that are the triumphs, to those you cross paths with that forever take up residence in your Heart; Love them to the moon and back. Be a beacon so bright and Love so big that the universe needs to make adjustments for you.

Be Love.